Eating to Fuel Training and Racing

By INFINIT Sponsored Coach Shannon Grady

Even though it may be early in the year and the competitive season seems far away, NOW is the time to start preparing your body for optimal training responses by fueling properly.  As beginner or shorter event athlete, you may have never felt the need to fuel during training because you could get through the volume or intensity fine without any supplemental nutrition during training sessions such as long runs or interval workouts. Any type of training session over 30 minutes in duration can benefit from fueling. As workout duration increases beyond 30 minutes in length or intensity is above Zone 2 efforts your body will quickly deplete blood glucose levels. Blood glucose is a necessary fuel for maintaining aerobic processing rates (Zone 2 paces) and necessary for your body to adapt to training loads.  In order to get the most out of training fueling should be a priority and done properly before, during, and after all training sessions.

Some “Rules” for Training:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Athletes who skip breakfast train less effectively, suffer fatigue more frequently, and may not perform to their potential. Not only does a wholesome, carbohydrate rich breakfast fuel your muscles for training or competition but it prevents you from getting too hungry later and overeating junk food that lack essential vitamins and minerals.

ANY breakfast is better than no breakfast at all. The best choices are cold or hot cereals, pancakes, waffles, French toast, muffins, English muffins, bagels, toast, [bars], banana bread, fruit, yogurt, or even non-traditional items such as leftover pizza.

Before Competition or Training Sessions

Choose foods that contain complex carbohydrates (fruits, whole grain pasta/breads) NOT simple sugars (candy, soda)

  1. Maintains energy levels- slow release of energy (blood sugar).
  2. PRACTICE timing.  Not all athletes can tolerate solids before training or racing.  Practice your racing nutrition plan daily so ensure this plan works come race day.  Generally, consuming foods or supplemental products with 70-100 grams of carbohydrates and 20-25 grams protein 4hrs prior and 40-50 grams of carbohydrates 1-2hrs prior will ensure adequate energy levels for competition.
  3. Consume at least 8-12 oz (1 water bottle) of water or electrolyte replacement drink 1 hour before competition

During Competition or Training Sessions

Try using a liquid plan over a solid food plan for training and competition.  Generally, athletes can tolerate liquids or gels during activity better than solid foods.


  1.  Consume as much fluid that you can tolerate during workouts. Consume 20-24 oz of fluids every 60 minutes.  Spreading out your intake by consuming 5-8 oz of fluids every 20 minutes will help with optimal absorption rates.
  2.  Electrolyte replacement drinks such as Infinit Customized Nutrition provides necessary electrolytes, carbohydrates, calories, and fluids that are lost during sweating
  3. Consume 25-35 grams of a carbohydrate/electrolyte drink or gel solution such as Napalm and 80-120 calories every 30-40 minutes during training or racing.  A 100 pound athlete should be at the lower end of the spectrum 25g/80 calories and 200 pound athlete should aim to be closer to 35g/120 calories.

Post-Competition or Training

Consumption of a small meal that has a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein (chocolate milk or soymilk, Infinit Repair, fruit & yogurt, bars) can improve recovery time by  50%. Consumption of a post workout or race meals ideally should be within 1 hour after session is complete.   This will allow for your body to replace glycogen stores more efficiently and also reduce your chances of overeating later.


Shannon Grady is an accomplished athlete, coach, exercise physiologist, and owner and developer of GO! Athletics and System Based Training. Her mission in life is to enable as many athletes as possible reach their full athletic potential. Shannon has over 30 years experience as an athlete and over 15 years as a physiologist, sports performance expert, and coach. Shannon has worked with and consulted a number of elite, collegiate and professional athletic teams including the US Olympic Committee. GO! Athletics specializes in Physiological Testing/Consulting, Sports Performance coaching, Sports Nutrition, and Injury Prevention/Rehabilitation.

For more information on Coach Shannon Grady,
GO! Athletics and Systems Based Training please visit


Caitlin Gregg 
Takes Bronze at
World Championships

Caitlin Gregg of Team Gregg and fellow US skier Jessie Diggins made history last Tuesday by taking silver and bronze in the 10K freestyle event at the Nordic skiing world championships.

This double podium placing marked the first time an American woman had ever won a major championship medal in a long-distance cross-country skiing race before!
Caitlin aiding her recovery with 
MUD in the leader's chair 

Caitlin's bronze medal was also her first top 10 World Cup finish. An unlikely medal contender, Team USA coaches asked Caitlin and the other US women skiers to ask themselves a question the night before the big race, "Why not me?"
... and the rest is history.
We are proud to support
Caitlin and Team Gregg
as they continue to take the XC world by storm!